Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

interestrateripoff

Is Pluto About To Be Reinstated As A Planet?

Recommended Posts

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/is-pluto-about-to-be-reinstated-as-a-planet-9769753.html

There were once nine planets. Everyone learned them, sometimes aided by a mnemonic: “My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.”

But back in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), arbiter of what is and what isn’t a planet, stripped Pluto of its status, saying it was too small to pack sufficient gravitational punch. It was downgraded to a new, second-class status: “dwarf planet.”

So then there were eight: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, or “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos.”

The decision did not sit well with the public. Some amateur stargazers and some astronomers thought it rather arbitrary. As the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics put it in a press release, “a dwarf fruit tree is still a small fruit tree, and a dwarf hamster is still a small hamster.”

But recently the Harvard-Smithsonian Center did something about it: It held a debate — pro and con — and let the audience vote. The result: “Pluto IS a planet.”

The debate centered around the IAU’s demands of a planet — that it must:

  • be in orbit around the Sun,
  • be round or nearly round, and
  • be shown to have “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit, be gravitationally dominant in its area — the big kid on the block.

Pluto was originally kicked out because it did not “clear the neighborhood.” It is indeed small. It has a radius of about 750 miles — less than 20 per cent of the Earth’s radius. Its circumference is about 4,500 miles, which makes it smaller than the moon. You could fly around its equator faster than flying from Washington, DC, to Hawaii.

Historically Pluto was considered a planet, for me it should have stayed that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a one time active and keen amateur astronomer myself, and remembering the thrill of actually once succeeding in capturing Pluto on film from my garden, I can only (childishly) say "yippee!". :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Historically Ceres was considered a planet for a while. There are plenty of bodies in the outer solar system comparable to Pluto (definitely dozens, possibly hundreds, wouldn't be surprised if there are thousands). It would be ridiculous to call them all planets. If Pluto had just been discovered it no-one would consider calling it a planet. When it was discovered the initial estimates of its properties painted it as a much more significant body than it's turned out to be. Our knowledge has improved with time and in this case something turned out to be not what it was originally thought to have probably been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Historically Ceres was considered a planet for a while. There are plenty of bodies in the outer solar system comparable to Pluto (definitely dozens, possibly hundreds, wouldn't be surprised if there are thousands). It would be ridiculous to call them all planets. If Pluto had just been discovered it no-one would consider calling it a planet. When it was discovered the initial estimates of its properties painted it as a much more significant body than it's turned out to be. Our knowledge has improved with time and in this case something turned out to be not what it was originally thought to have probably been.

yeah yeah yeah I know that too. There's always a killjoy somewhere. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   212 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.